State College makes marijuana offenses violation, not crime


STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Council members in State College have approved an ordinance making possession of small amounts of marijuana a summary offense rather than a criminal misdemeanor, but that won’t apply on the Penn State campus.

The council voted 5-2 Monday night to make possession of up to 30 grams (or a little more than an ounce) of marijuana or eight grams of hashish punishable by a fine of $250, and smoking the substances in public by a $350 fine.

But university officials said they must continue to treat possession as a misdemeanor since they receive federal money. Penn State officials also said the change would mean people accused of marijuana possession would be treated differently in State College than in the four other municipalities in which the campus is situated.